Here are the five pluses of keeping rats, an often overlooked pet.
Unlike most small animals, such as hamsters and gerbils, rats know how to love and even how to recognize their caretakers. Some rat owners, such as my myself, claim that the affection some rats can give can rival that of a dog.
Rats only require about two square feet of space, a bit more if you decide to buy them a larger cage.
Rats don't break the bank when it comes to money. Food and bedding costs run low if you find the right store, and money can be saved if you potty train your rat (yes, it can be done!) and feed your rat a homemade diet (see Suebee's diet on the RMCA website). Toys can be made at home too - a pant leg from slacks or a chicken bone make good toys for rats.
Hamsters aren't always the best choice when it comes to first pets for children, choose rats instead! These easygoing creatures don't mind if they get awoken while taking a nap and are "a lot" less aggressive than most other small animals. However, please supervise young children when they handle rats or any other animal.
Rats need their water and food bowls cleaned and filled daily (include fresh food). Rats only need about 30 minutes of attention from you a day (compare that with a cat, dog, or ferret). And of course, your rat could use a yearly check up from the vet and a clean, disinfected cage every week.
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I remember when I was young I had these wonderful rats! We must have bought them from the pet store, and they mated and had babies.
Pet accessories can be very pricey, and aren't always made of the safest or best-quality materials. Don't despair! Rather than let a pet sit in a boring cage, you can outfit your pet's domain with objects you have around the house.
In many ways, setting up for a pet rat is similar to preparing housing for other small furries -- rabbits, guinea pigs, or ferrets.
Trust Training: "If you have a baby rat who doesn't like to be held, remember that baby rats tend to be very active and often don't want to hold still to be held. Instead they want to run around and play and explore.
This website has a lot of information for people with pet rats. "The Rat Fan Club, founded in 1992, focuses on rats as companion animals.
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Bandit is a 1 year old rat, who we bought at the pet store. She loves to run around on the couch and in the bathroom. She likes climbing all over me. She is very friendly.
Lady is one year old and she is my Pet Rat. She was born to the pet rats I have at home.